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Re: Forum updates (current and pending)
Thain
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I would be annoyed as well. I tried hard to include all of the regulars, but then the database hiccup ruined my first impressions with you all. Sorry!

Posted on: 2010/1/19 15:25
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Re: Forum updates (current and pending)
Shirrif
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I think, Jeremy, you raise a couple of very interesting ideas: the idea of a private forum; TCG joining other organisations; and moderators.

On Private Forums

Despite having mentioned the idea in an earlier thread regarding signatures, I'm not really strongly in favour of private discussion; I would be interested in whether the majority like or dislike the idea. (Clearly some members aren't really that interested, which is why there has been little said -that's fair enough.) Provided who can, and who cannot, access the private forum can be managed fairly by Jeremy, I think it then boils down to whether anyone really cares whether forgery discussion (specifically) should be removed from the public areas of TCG.

While spotting and discussing forgeries is quite fun, I do wonder (personally) whether discussing such specific aspects as writing style & handwriting (including stationery, ink, paper, typewriter etc); where Tolkien lived; figures in Tolkien's life; factual discrepancies etc -is really that wise. Additionally, I'm quite reluctant (generally) to cite specific dealers on the forum, as they have very little right of reply (assuming they are unaware of this site); and we could be putting a black mark against perfectly honest sellers.

I think the idea, in a private forum, of suspicious items being flagged (each item with its own thread), openly discussed (with more image posting, and less eBay links -as these expire), deliberated on (if that doesn't sound too pompous), and finally actioned; sounds good.

The TCG thread could reach an 'official' forum conclusion, and sellers could be contacted. Replies could be posted (and discussed), and action (reporting in the case of eBay) taken. Information could be gathered on recurring items, unreputable sellers, and communications from eBay regarding account closures etc. Threads could be gathered together in summarising threads, with cross referencing etc.

Perhaps most importantly (other than attempting to resolve the issue) the conclusions (minus all the discussion, and potential-forger useful information) could be posted (perhaps as a sticky by Jeremy) in the main public forum, with a brief summarising. e.g. The seller replied, saying the following, removing the said item, and thanking TCG for bringing this to their attention etc -something that the public can still view.

Having said all this, is there really enough traffic, and willingness (time, effort, inclination) from the current members to make any of this worthwhile?

TCG joining other Organisations

I think this sounds quite good. However I suppose Jeremy is right in asking how much of a group this forum really feels, and what organisations would take us? Either The Tolkien Society, or a discussion group of The Mythopoeic Society sounds agreeable. However I await the thoughts of those more involved in these organisations to pitch in with their thoughts. Either way, an 'official' group dedicated solely to all aspects of Tolkien collecting doesn't seem to exist. So perhaps we should make a start.

Moderators

Jeremy has kindly allowed me to be a moderator on this forum too. My own accessing of the forum is sporadic (despite my total posting number); I post heavily when I'm on holiday, but rarely get a chance to post to my satisfaction at any other time. Hopefully I make myself useful enough though. I intend to do nothing drastic really accept perhaps move a few threads that I feel are initially better served in other areas of the forum etc.

BH

Posted on: 2010/1/29 5:12
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You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...


Private forum on TolkienGuide cont.
Thain
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I have had some good discussions via email with enough people that my thoughts are clarifying in regards to a private "member" forum. These are still just thoughts, so feel free to chime in and continue the conversation!

There is no such thing as 100% assurances that a member forum is "secure" and will prevent a forger from seeing what is posted either immediately or at some point in the future. Passwords can be guessed - how many of you are using a secure password for an out-of-the-way forum such as this? [Admin note, I can't tell because the database is encrypted even from my eyes.] How do I or anyone else effectively know that a regular here at some point isn't a forger trying to appear innocuous for a long enough period of time to be accepted into the community? How do we know that a search bot won't find a way past the (currently effective) barrier that prevents them from caching and sharing what is behind the member wall?

Also, as evidenced by W&C's article for the LOTR Plaza, there is value in having these discussions in a public forum - there is educational value both for buyers and sellers in knowing that fakes are out there, and knowing where to come (or who to ask privately) before making a big financial decision.

My heavy preference at this time is to have the conversations in public (the regular forums), and the experts filter themselves to what they feel is appropriate in such a venue. If they are not willing to share something such as a scan in a public forum, but are willing to share it privately, then email or other one-to-one (to more than one if desired) makes the most sense. Providing the illusion of privacy that can falter at any time does not make much sense to me now that I have thought about it more and discussed it with others.

Posted on: 2010/2/8 11:36
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Re: Forum updates (current and pending)
Shirrif
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I think I agree Jeremy. It is probably to the great benefit of this sites standing that discussion is public, and not hidden away --so members & non-members alike can benefit from the insight some of the genuine (i.e. myself definitively excluded) experts provide.

Although, we should continue some sort of private forum & continue to post in it, just to annoy Deagol!

BH

Posted on: 2010/2/8 15:14
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You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...



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